The Communist Judicial System in China, 1927-1976
The Communist Judicial System in China, 1927-1976
Building on Fear
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Asian Studies
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Table of Contents
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Introduction: Building on Fear
1.Born in Blood, 1927-1935
2.Cornerstone or Aberration, 1935-1949
3.From Excessive Lenience to Harshness, 1949-1951
4.A Deliberate Purge, 1952-1953
5.A Golden Age? 1953-May 1957
6.The Great leap of Law, June 1957-1965
7. Not the Worst Period of Law, 1966-1976
Conclusion: From Party's Fear to People's Fear
Selected Bibliography

Reviews and Features

With his book The Communist Judicial System in China, 1927-1976, Qiang Fang has won both the 2022 Academic Excellence Award from Chinese Historians in the United States (CHUS) and the 2022 Best Scholarly Publication Award of the Association of Chinese Professors of Social Science (ACPSS).

"There is much to appreciate in this book’s coverage of familiar issues and time periods in the legal history of the Chinese Party-state. Fang’s thematic of "fear" helps explain the repressive conduct of an insecure regime. [...] The book is enriched by its reporting on details of local cases, statistics on judicial appointments and decisions, and its explanations of the political and policy contexts for judicial behavior. Fang’s book is a useful contribution to understanding law and governance in the PRC."
- Pitman B. Potter, University of British Columbia, The China Journal, No. 87 (2022)

"Overall, Fang’s book accomplishes its aim, delivers a sound historical analysis and offers a critical approach to the judicial system and its role within the governance of the PRC, a role that seems likely to continue shaping the future of China and its citizens. The Communist Judicial System in China, 1927–1976 merits the attention of observers wishing to understand not only the legal and judicial aspects of the PRC but also the complexities of the CCP administration through one of its most substantial apparatus."
- Guilherme Vargas Castilhos, Europe-Asia Studies, Vol. 74, Iss. 8 (2022)

Qiang Fang

The Communist Judicial System in China, 1927-1976

Building on Fear

Drawing on hundreds of newly released judicial archives and court cases, this book analyzes the communist judicial system in China from its founding period to the death of Mao Zedong. It argues that the communist judicial system was built when the CCP was engaged in a life-or-death struggle with the GMD, meaning that the overriding aim of the judicial system was, from the outset, to safeguard the Party against both internal and external adversaries. This fundamental insecurity and perennial fear of loss of power obsessed the Party throughout the era of Mao and beyond, prompting it to launch numerous political campaigns, which forced communist judicial cadres to choose between upholding basic legal norms and maintaining Party order. In doing all of this, The Communist Judicial System in China, 1927-1976: Building on Fear fills a major lacuna in our understanding of communist-era China.
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Qiang Fang

Dr. Qiang Fang is Professor of East Asian history at the University of Minnesota Duluth. He is the author of Communist Judicial System in China, 1927-1976: Building on Fear, Power Versus Law in Modern China: Cities, Courts, and the Communist Party, and Chinese Complaint Systems: Natural Resistance. He is also the president of the Association of Chinese Professors in Social Sciences (ACPSS).